Our Story

An entrepreneur, an accountant, and a beautiful idea

Serial entrepreneur Rod Drury and his accountant Hamish Edwards founded Xero in July 2006. They believed that traditional accounting software had failed to keep up with advancements in technology and no longer met all the needs of small business owners and their advisors. The duo set out to disrupt the industry.

The beautiful Xero software we know today was crafted by a few developers working in an apartment above a coffee shop. From the onset, their goal was to create a cloud-based accounting solution that is smart, simple, secure and beautiful.

Xero grew up quickly. The initial team expanded and moved out of the apartment into an office – then into an even larger office. Other offices were soon established throughout the world.

Along the way, investors seized the opportunity to acquire stake in Xero. The company joined the New Zealand Stock Exchange early on in 2007 and raised US$12 million. In 2009, Craig Winkler invested US$14 million on Xero and a year later Peter Thiel invested US$3 million. Today, Xero is one of the top 20 companies on the New Zealand Stock Exchange and is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

We’re thrilled with the impact we’re continuing to make globally. We have so many customers telling us that we’re removing many aspects of running a business that are hard, boring or frustrating. We’re often told we make accounting fun! That delights us, as we love technology and love making business better.

Our service

All small business owners need effective financial planning and accounting to achieve success. Their ability to monitor financial performance in real-time and plan ahead is essential. According to the SBA, small businesses make up 99.7% of all employer firms and employ half of private-sector workers, so their success is crucial to the success of the greater economy. Xero gives small business owners the tools needed to obtain this success.

At its core, Xero is easy-to-use but powerful online accounting software designed from the ground up for the cloud. It’s not adapted from desktop software. Xero provides separate yet connected accounting solutions for business owners, accountants, and individuals:

  • Client accounting for small business available anywhere, at any time and on mobile devices
  • Accountant tools for management reporting and final accounts production

The Xero Software as a Service business model – where software is hosted securely on the internet – allows Xero to meet the needs of the vast small business market. We frequently release new features in response to the needs of our customers and new industries.

The size of the small business market is second only to the consumer market. Typically, internet companies rely on non-direct, usually advertising based revenue models. In contrast, we believe the small business software market provides the greatest opportunity for monetization on the internet and Xero is proving itself to be the leading innovator in this market.

Underlying technology

Xero software is developed using Microsoft’s .NET development environment, over resilient SQL Server databases, on a Windows application server infrastructure. We host over 150 application and database servers with Rackspace, a tier-one NASDAQ listed hosting provider, which monitors our servers and firewalls 24/7/365 at guarded facilities. Xero utilizes the global Akamai Content Delivery Network for faster performance to customers around the world.

Xero has a strong technology and database team. We took the time to rethink accounting software in the cloud and build the world’s most powerful accounting engine. We have the powerful accounting engine we’ve always wanted – relational, double entry journals, multi-user with strong audit controls, multi-currency, multi-tenanted, multi-sharded for horizontal scaling, with a powerful API and parallel business intelligence engine. Xero should be compared more with SAP than Quickbooks – but designed and packaged to be easy for small business owners.

Global locations

United States – San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, New York, Atlanta
Australia – Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth
United Kingdom – London, Milton Keynes

New Zealand – Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch

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